The food festival is One of the major things to explore in every destination! Because food represents the cultural and taste of different places. While in most parts of the world you’ll find that the celebrations have at least a few things in common (eating, drinking, dancing), many times the similarities stop there. Where some people like to complement the festivities with their new ideas such as Salon du Chocolat festival or Battle of the Oranges or the longest table food festival.
Scroll down to find out how much fun all you foodies have been missing out on in the world. Shortlist the ones you’ll be visiting, from the below-given list of the food festivals around the world that you’ll be visiting and the cuisines you’ll be sampling. And while you’re at it, don’t just stop at one!
World Pea Shooting Championship
Where: Village of Witcham near Ely in Cambridgeshire, England
When: Each year on second Saturday in July, since 1971
Why: The World Pea Shooting Championship was conceived in 1971 as a fund-raising idea for the building of a modern Village Hall by the headmaster of the village school, John I. The competition tends to be dominate by local entrants, though a small number travel from around the world, notably the United States, and American.
How: Peas are shot at a 12-inch target smeared with putty, 12 feet away, with a peashooter not exceeding 12 inches in length. There are no restrictions to technology providing the pea is propelle by blowing with the mouth, also, anyone can enter.
The Battle of Oranges
Where: Ivrea, Italy
When: February (occasionally in March) on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.
Why: Regarding the origins, a popular account has it that the battle commemorates the city’s defiance against the city’s tyrant. This tyrant attempted to rape a young commoner (often specified as a miller’s daughter) on the evening of her wedding, supposedly exercising the droit du seigneur. The tyrant’s plan backfired when the young woman instead decapitated him, after which the populace stormed and burned the palace.
How: Each year, a young girl is chosen to play the part of Violetta, the defiant young woman. The core celebration is based on a locally famous Battle of the Oranges that involves some thousands of townspeople, divided into nine combat teams, who throw oranges at each other with considerable violence during the traditional carnival days.
Cheung Chau Bun Festival
Where: Cheung Chau, Hong Kong
When: This festival is celebrated every year in April/May. This year it will start from 9 May and will end on 13 May 2019
Why: One story of the origin of the festival is that in the 18th century, the island of Cheung Chau was devastated by pirates until local fishermen brought an image of the god Pak Tai to the island. Paraded through the village lanes, the deity drove away evil spirits. Today this religious origin has largely been forgotten, and the festival has mainly a become a showcase of traditional Chinese culture.
How: The centerpiece of the festival is at Pak Tai Temple where the “Bun Mountains” or “Bun Towers” stand. These are three giant 60-feet bamboo towers covered with buns. It originates from the custom in Southern Fujian and Chaozhou known as Qingpu where people snatch food that has been offered to the lonely spirits. Historically, young men would race up the tower to get hold of the buns; the higher the bun, the better fortune it was supposed to bring to the holder’s family.
La Tomatina food festival
Where: Buñol town, Valencia province, Spain
When: Since 1945 it has been held on the last Wednesday of August. This year it is on 28 August 2019 on Wednesday.
Why: It started the last Wednesday of August in 1945 when some young people spent the time in the town square to attend the Giants and Big-Heads figures parade. + The energy of jovialities caused one participant’s big head to fall off. The participant flew into a fit of rage, began hitting everything in his path. There was a market stall of vegetable that fell victim to the fury of the crowd. People started to pelt each other with tomatoes until the local forces ended that fruit battle. 1957 when, as a sign of protest, the tomato burial was held. It was a demonstration in which the residents carried a coffin with a huge tomato inside. The parade was accompanied by a music band which played funeral marches. The protest was successful. La Tomatina Festival was finally permitted and became an official festival.
How: Usually, the fight lasts for about one hour, after which the town square is covered with tomato debris. However, the city council follows a short list of instructions for the safety of the participants and the festival:
- Do not throw bottles or hard objects
- Do not tear or throw t-shirts
- Squash tomatoes before throwing them to avoid hurting others
- Keep a safe distance from trucks
- Stop throwing tomatoes after the second starter pistol shot
- Follow the directions of security staff
Lopburi Monkey Banquet
Where: San Phra Kan & Phra Prang Sam Yot Temples Lopburi, Thailand
When: Saturday, November 23, 2019 – Sunday, November 24, 2019
Why: Thailand hosts its annual monkey banquet and festival to say thank you to the hundreds of macaques who live in the town. The monkey banquet festival first started in the 1980s thanks to the inspiration of a local businessman. His idea was to provide a buffet of fruit and food for the monkeys as a way of expressing gratitude for the primates whose presence brought in welcome tourist revenue to the town.
How: The festival starts off with traditional Thai dancing and a parade, and then the food is put out around the Prang Sam Yot Temple. While the monkeys start off shy when it comes to crowds, eventually a few brave macaques make their way down to sample the goods and report that all is safe, and then the fun begins. Soon there are thousands of monkeys descending, and various city VIPs led by the mayor are bringing out plates of watermelon and durian while being swarmed by an army of primates!
Cooper’s Hill Cheese-Rolling
Where: At Cooper’s Hill, near Gloucester in England
When: The event is held on the Spring Bank Holiday. This year it will be celebrated on 27 May 2019
Why: The first is said that it evolved from a requirement for maintaining grazing rights on the common. The second proposal is pagan origins for the custom of rolling objects down the hill. It is thought that bundles of burning brushwood were rolled down the hill to represent the birth of the New Year after winter.
How: In the Cooper’s Hill Cheese Rolling from the top of the hill, a 7–9 pounds round of Double Gloucester cheese is sent rolling down the hill, and competitors then start racing down the hill after it. The competitors are aiming to catch the cheese. The first person over the finish line at the bottom of the hill wins the cheese.
Gilroy Garlic food festival
Where: The event takes place at Christmas Hill Park in Gilroy, California
When: Festival is held each year on the last full weekend of July. The 41st annual Gilroy Garlic Festival will be held on July 26, 27, and 28, 2019
Why: The festival was founded in 1979 by Dr. Rudy Melone, Don Christopher, and Val Filice. The festival is a major fundraiser for local charities, who receive money based on volunteers who work during the festival. Since the festival began, it has raised more than eleven million dollars for these charities. The Gilroy Garlic Festival Association is a non-profit organization that is intended to support non-profit groups and projects in Gilroy.
How: The Challenge Butter Cook-Off Stage will have intense cooking competitions going on all three days. On Friday, MasterChef Season 7 winner Shaun O’Neale returns to the Festival to host the Champions for Charity competition as well as the first-ever Garlic Chef Jr. contest for young chefs under the age of 18. Olympic Champion and Food Network star Brian Boitano takes over on Saturday to emcee the Great Garlic Cook-Off, one of the country’s most prestigious amateur cooking competitions. And on Sunday, Iron Chef and co-host of “The Chew” Michael Symon will preside over the Garlic Showdown, in which professional chefs battle for a $3,000 prize and ultimate bragging rights.
Noche de Los Rabanos” (Night of the Radishes)
Where: The festival takes place in Oaxaca, Mexico
When: Festival is held each year on 24 December. This year the annual Festival will be held on Tuesday 24 December 2019.
Why: The legend began states that one year in the mid 18th century, the radish crop was so abundant that a section lay unharvested for months. In December, two friars pulled up some of these forgotten radishes. The size and shapes were amusing and they brought them as curiosities to the Christmas market held on December 23. The misshapen vegetables attracted attention and soon they began to be carved to give them a wider variety of shapes and figures. In 1897, the then mayor of the city, Francisco Vasconcelos, decided to create a formal radish carving competition, which has been held each year since.
How: The formal Noche de Rábanos competition focuses on the carving of radishes, which can be embellished with other elements. Most entries are scenes that use multiple radishes, with the most traditional being nativity scenes. However, over the 100+ years that the competition has been held, there has been significant diversification in the entries. Originally the radishes used by competitors were those raised by local farmers, but as the city has grown, taking over land traditionally dedicated to their cultivation.
Els Enfarinats Festival Flour Fight
Where: The festival takes place in the town of Lbi, Alicante, Spain
When: It is celebrated annually on December 28,
Why: This tradition is more than 200 years old, but it speaks to an older, darker event known as the Massacre of the Innocents (December 28 is also known as “the Day of the Innocents”). In the New Testament, King Herod slaughtered all infant boys, including his own son, in an attempt to eliminate the baby, Jesus. Celebrants in Ibi use the fake coup to commemorate the biblical tragedy.
But the ritual of staging rebellion and upending societal roles dates back further, to ancient Rome’s Saturnalia festival, when masters waited on their servants. Unlike the Roman decree for “bread and circuses,” Spaniards just need the ingredients. They create the circus themselves.
How: Citizens of Spain’s Ibi annually celebrate the Els Enfarinats Festival with a battle of flour, eggs, and firecrackers. The battle takes place between a group of married men called Els Enfarinats that takes control of the village for one day, pronouncing a whole host of ridiculous laws and fining the citizens that infringe them, and another group called La Oposicio, which tries to restore order. Money collected from the fines is then donated to charitable causes in the village.
National Cherry Festival
Where: The festival takes place in Traverse City, Michigan.
When: 2019 National Cherry Festival will begin on Saturday, 29 June and ends on Saturday,6 July.
Why: The National Cherry Festival began in 1925 as the Blessing of the Blossoms Festival, which was held in early May to attract tourists to Northern Michigan to view the blooming cherry blossoms. In 1931 the Michigan Legislature renamed the festival to the National Cherry Festival and moved the event to the summer. Since 2004, a May event coinciding with blooming of the cherry blossoms is also held again, like the Blossom Days Festival, in addition to what is now the better-known National Cherry Festival. And know the festival originally held in mid- to late July to coincide with the cherry harvest, the Festival was moved to early July to take advantage of the July 4th holiday.
How: Each year the festival hosts more than 150 activities for the entire family, including three parades, sporting events, band competitions, big-name entertainment, air shows, midway rides, and the crowning of the queen. “Cherry activities” include cherry tasting, cherry pie eating contests, orchard tours, the Very Cherry Luncheon, and a cherry farm market. As one of the largest parades in the Midwest, the Cherry Royale Parade features 150 entries. A giant fireworks display over West Grand Traverse Bay closes the festival.
Salon du Chocolat
Where: Ecuador, Pichincha Quito
When: The event began in 1994. This year it will be on 30 October to 3 November 2019.
Why: The Salon du Chocolat came to be in 1994, thanks to Sylvie Douce and François Jeantet’s idea at a dinner party. They wanted to create a trade show about chocolate for professionals and the public. At that time they didn’t have a lot of connections in the chocolate industry. But decided to travel around the country and start building a network.
How: The Salon du Chocolat is a show for the whole family featuring an exclusive program of activities and events together with exhibitors’ stands:
- A demo stage with a line-up of top chefs
- The Chocolate Fashion Show
- Prestigious Competitions
- Exhibits and chocolate sculptures
- Live performances by cocoa-producing countries
- A children’s area
- Pastry workshops
- Talks and tastings
- Book signings
Where: Held in Munich, Bavaria, Germany
When: It is a 16- to 18-day folk festival running from mid or late September to the first weekend in October. This year the fest will begin on Saturday, 21 September and ends on Sunday, 6 October.
Why: Oktoberfest’s origins date back to what was essentially a giant wedding reception. In 1810, Prince Ludwig of the German state of Bavaria invited the entire population of Munich to celebrate his marriage to Princess Therese. The centerpiece of the day was a horserace, and, by all accounts, the 40,000 people who showed up also downed numerous beers. The revelers committed to doing it again the next year, and a tradition was born.
How: Oktoberfest consists of a series of tents set up as drinking halls. With a huge range of large and small tents to choose from, it pays to visit a few to soak up the different vibes each tent has. Characterized by colorful parades, lively musical performances, traditional costumes, delicious food and plenty of beer, in Munich’s Oktoberfest. Typically running from mid-September to early October, this 16-18 day folk festival organize in Munich each year is one of the world’s largest beer celebrations.
Giant Omelet Celebration
Where: Bessières, France
When: November 2 & 3, 2019
Why: According to legend, when Napoleon and his army were traveling through the south of France, they decided to rest for the night near the town of Bessieres. Napoleon feasted on an Omelette prepared by a local innkeeper which was such a culinary delight that he ordered the townspeople to gather all the eggs in the village and to prepare a huge Omelette for his army the next day. From this beginning, the Omelette became a tradition to feed the poor of the village at Easter. It has also become the symbol of a worldwide fraternity, rich in friendship, tradition and cultural exchange, known as the Confrerie.
How: The Confrerie D’ Abbeville welcomes you all to Abbeville’s “5000 EGG” Giant Omelette Celebration! This family-oriented event including a kids world kicks off Saturday morning with a charity walk through Historic Downtown Abbeville. Abbeville’s Magdaline Square with its majestic oaks and old fashioned gazebo is the setting for the 2 day Arts & Craft Show. Stop and dance to some of Louisiana’s best music. Antique farm implements provide a challenge to those competing in Saturday’s egg cracking contest. The fun continues on Sunday with the addition of the antique cars on display, along with more music guaranteed to get you dancing.
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Olney Pancake Race
Where: Olney, Buckinghamshire in South East England
When: Olney tradition was started in 1445. And each year it held on 25th February.
Why: No one is quite certain how the world famous Pancake Race at Olney originated. One story tells of a harassed housewife, hearing the shriving bell, dashing to the Church still clutching her frying pan containing a pancake. Another tells that the gift of pancakes may have been a bribe to the Ringer, or Sexton that he might ring the bell sooner; for ringing the bell signalled the beginning of the day’s holiday and enjoyment, no less than to summon the people to the service at which they would be shriven of their sins before the long Lenten feast.
How: Unlike some other races, where sports figures, celebrities, and even MPs participate, the Olney Pancake Race is limited to “housewives and young ladies of the town“. They must have lived in Olney for at least three months and be at least 18 years old. Several children’s races take place before the main event -limited to little girls. Twenty-five participants run a distance of 415 yards from the Olney Market Place to the Parish Church, while dressed as “traditional housewives”.
Chinchilla Melon Festival
Where: Chinchilla is a town and a locality in the Western Downs Region, Queensland, Australia where the Chinchilla Melon Festival takes place.
When: Festival is held every two years in February in Chinchilla, Queensland.
Why: A celebration of all things melon and a tribute to our town’s melon farming reputation, the Chinchilla Melon Festival has become a renowned Queensland event. Held in February every second year.
How: The festival encompasses a week of activities with the highlight being the classic Family Fun Day and colorful street parade. If you’ve never skied on watermelons or attempted a melon bungee, then you need to put the Chinchilla Melon Festival at the top of your to-do list!
World Champion Tuna Toss Competition
Where: Port Lincoln, Australia
When: The event first held in 1979. This year started from 24 January 2019 and ended on 27 January 2019.
Why: In 1979, a couple of locals from the Tunarama Committee decided the festival needed something unique that identified with Port Lincoln’s already famous Tuna Fishing industry, in a way that could be enjoyed as a spectacle by anyone, entered by anyone fit enough to consider doing so, and that was a bit of fun. Many ideas put forth at the time, but none seem to gel with the Festival’s goal of celebrating the industry that gave it its name.
Until it noticed by a couple of fellows that the primary method of unloading the overflowing boats that came into port, was a very manual, arduous task. Men would stand on the decks of the boats, and throw tuna up onto the waiting trucks. Well, those fish that were small enough to throw, that was.
How: Tuna Tossing World Championships is consist of different kind of competitions which attract the tourist to visit Port Lincoln. The event is divide into three portions(1Tunarama Events, 2Children Area, 3Community Area).
The Onion Market
Where: Bern, Switzerland
When: It takes place on the fourth Monday in November.
Why: The Zibelemärit is on the list of Swiss traditions that are still followed today, officially making it one of Switzerland’s most important customs. There are many legends around the origins of the event. According to one, the first Zibelemärit held in the 15th century as part of the Martini Market. This sold everything – except onions. And so, a separate market for onions was create.
Another folk story, however, says that the Zibelemärit dates back to Bern’s great fire of 1405. When 650 wooden houses burned down and 100 people killed, the people of Freiburg hurried to help. As a sign of their gratitude, the Bernese allowed the people of Freiburg to sell their onions in Bern every autumn from then on.
How: A masked group is known as the “Zibelegringe” meaning “Onion Heads” appears in several pubs around the Zibelemärit and tells of the events of the past year in Bern in the form of a song. As a highlight, one of the members is name the “Oberzibelegring” or “Chief Onion Head”. And honored during a procession through the town, led by the “Bereitermusik Bern” brass band. The procession starts at 11:30 a.m. in the Rathausplatz (Town Hall Square).
Paniyiri Greek food festival
Where: South Brisbane, Queensland Australia
When: The festival was started in 1976, and is held in May each year in Musgrave Park, Brisbane, Australia. This year it will be held on (SATURDAY 18 MAY | 12 pm to 10 pm) (SUNDAY 19 MAY | 10 am to 7 pm)
Why: The festival was started in 1976, and is the longest running cultural festival in Queensland, and the longest running Greek festival in Australia. It initiated by Father Gregory Sakellariou, with the aim of bringing the Greek community together. And sharing their culture with the people of Brisbane.
How: The Paniyiri Greek Festival is basically a food festival including the return of the traditional Greek village in the Plateia, a Dance Spectacular on Saturday evening, opening with a stunning Bouzouki tribute, and a standout cooking program headlined by international Greek superchef Dimitris Katrivesis.
Wasn’t that looking interesting! let me know which Festival inspired you a lot.
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